Awesome Quotes

The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why — Mark Twain

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Josh has an incredible heart for God and is passionate about helping create environments that lead people to experience God.  He has tremendous gifts that enable him to help churches advance the Kingdom of God.

How You Can Help Me Help You! (Win A $25 Amazon Gift Card!)

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Misc

One thing that has always driven me is knowing that there are ALWAYS areas where I can grow and get better.

Without measured feedback, it’s impossible to grow or improve.

How You Can Help Me Help You! Tom Whitwell via Compfight

But sometimes learning to ask for that feedback is the hardest part.

Did you know that there is a difference between feedback and criticism?

I’ve learned to differentiate the two best by understanding that feedback should always have my best interest in mind while most criticism has a selfish bent to it.

I think for most of us, it’s much easier to just critique something rather than give honest feedback.

Giving honest feedback will always require an investment of some kind, where as criticism is cheap and easy. (tweet that)

But that’s what produces the best tasting fruit.

So I’m asking you for some honest feedback.

Help me make Creating the Awesome, and the.josh.collins (dot) com better.

None of this makes any sense if it’s not relevant to you guys.

And in reward for a few moments of your time, I’m giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card.

You can use that to get something from a book about knitting to perhaps some nail polish or whatever suits your fancy.

It’s the least I could do for you guys!

My hope and prayer (my declaration) is that 2014 will be the best year yet and all of you experience this great gospel I love so much all over again!

So just click here and fill out the survey and be sure to enter your best email address at the very end and you’ll be entered to win! But go ahead and do it now, because the contest is over Sunday night!

Posted on: January 3, 2014

It’s Always About The Journey!

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Misc

Note: This post was sent exclusively to my friends and subscribers. I’d love for you to become one too! You can do that here. Also, The Mistakes in Marriage Series will continue on Wednesday so be sure to sign up here to not miss out on the rest of that series.

Today I celebrate turning exactly 1 year older. It’s funny to think about celebrating birthdays as a boy. Birthdays used to be all about getting something, a present, or money or something, but now as I’ve gotten older they tend to take on different meanings.

Now, honestly, I’m just grateful to be home with my family.

Gifted Hero

Creative Commons License JD Hancock via Compfight

It’s true, with age, comes wisdom. And with wisdom, our perspectives change and our vision takes shape. (you can tweet that if you like)

We know it to be true because we hear it all the time, but the point to this story we’re all living isn’t about the destination, or the golden parachute of success. It’s always been about the journey.

The journey is what allows us to be who we’re becoming.

Together, we’re all living out separate parts of this great narrative.

We each play an important role individually but we can never do it alone. We were never meant to.

That’s what I’m celebrating today.

I’ve experienced it over and over again, whether in person, across oceans, or even in these updates, friendships continue to allow me to experience the gospel in new and fresh ways.

But at the same time friendships do have their limits.

And that’s why I’d like to share this excerpt with you all today.

It’s from the book Becoming Myself by Stasi Eldredge.

I pray that it will resonate with you and encourage you today!

“Friendship is risky, costly. Friendship is meant to provide a refuge from loneliness, and a respite from self-criticism and the critique of a never-satisfied world. Friendship is a relationship of mutual enjoyment. It is a place where our hearts don’t have to work quite so hard to be heard and understood and accepted. Friendship is supposed to offer a taste of what is coming when our souls will be fully known and completely at rest.

But just a taste. I have found that the people I love and who love me deeply are not able to satisfy my insatiable soul in a lasting way. But man, have I wanted them to. “Fill me!” I’ve cried. “Satisfy me!” John has tried to fill me. Friends have tried to fill me. And their offerings have been marvelous. But never enough. I have a leak. Really, it’s a break in the pipe, and aware of my own brokenness, I have tried to hide it and get other people to tend it. It hasn’t worked. My demanding has backfired. I have learned the hard way—and just about everything I have learned, I have learned the hard way—the beautiful freeing truth that Jesus is the only one who can satisfy me. He’s actually the only one who is meant to!”

Question for you:

Have you come to the place of recognizing that the thing in which you long to fill you, just doesn’t seem to do the trick? It just isn’t adequate enough? What was that thing?

Share your stories in the comments below.

Posted on: October 21, 2013

An Open Letter to the Rest of the World: Write Your Own Script!

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Misc

Note: This post is in response to The Open Letter Challenge organized by a dear good friend of mine, Josh Irby. If you’ve never crossed paths with his words, then you need to do so! He’s an incredible blessing to me and one of the best all around guys you’ll ever come to know! Plus he lives on the other side of the world in Sarajevo!

Dear World,

As I sit here and watch my youngest son ride his bike, wearing his black cape of justice, I’m inspired and reminded of many things. Things that matter and things that don’t. Stuff that lasts and stuff that won’t.

An Open Letter to the Rest of the World: Write Your Own Script

Photo Credit: Dewayne Neeley via Compfight cc

I’m transported to a time before I was father, when I thought I knew it all, and had it all figured out, before living a life of meaning truly took on meaning.

I’m tempted to say something like if only… But I catch myself and recognize it for the lie that it would become.

And that’s where my heart for you takes over, pressing against the cavity of my chest.

I know you long for more.

I know you crave acceptance.

I know you desire meaning, success, and comfort.

I can see it and if you’re truly honest with yourself and look in the mirror, you can see it too.

It’s evident in the trends you follow, the stories you write and the people you celebrate. But it screams the loudest by the ones you don’t.

It’s apparent by the way you spend your money, the way you cope, hide, and numb out. But it’s most obvious by the vacuum of your heart you’re trying to fill.

You might say, well how do you know, you don’t know me!

I know, because you are me, and I am you. Your story is my story and my story is your story.

We are not alone. In fact we are far more connected than anyone of us ever cares to admit.

You present a mirror before me. One in which, by being authentically honest with myself and you, I say with confidence I know these things to be true.

And I, like you, have looked to everything that doesn’t last, and anything that would deceive me into thinking it mattered, only to be once again left empty.

Which is why my heart pulsates for you to know and come alive to the same realization I have.

Indeed there is more.

But unlocking the more requires something of you.

It will require more than you think you have, asking of you more than you think you can give. It will demand you to write your own script.  It will say, you must have faith, and will not come without fear. But beauty is found in knowing that when we experience that fear, it means we’re headed in the right direction.

That’s the invitation freely waiting your response.

You see you have been uniquely and divinely created with purpose. But that purpose will never come without passion. The most important part of that passion is it’s yours. Not anyone elses. You can’t clone it, manufacture it, or duplicate it.

You’ll unlock that passion when you begin to write your own script.

Before I leave you, can I offer you a word of caution and a word of encouragement?

Writing your own script doesn’t mean ignore the wisdom presented to you. Not at all, in fact you’ll need to passionately seek out wisdom in order to write it. But know that there is no going back once you begin that journey. You’ll never be the same.

Which is where I so desperately want to encourage you.

It’s amazing, you’ll never be the same!

That’s where the good stuff is found. That’s where true beauty rests and where joy resides!

Let me leave you knowing that should you ever need anything at all, if it’s within my power, I’ll gladly give it!

Blessings,

Josh

Posted on: October 1, 2013

There Is Only One Way To Live, Here’s Why

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Misc

What if?

That’s the question that is bouncing off the walls of my brain as I sit here in the comfort of my local suburban Starbucks.

My heart’s broken and I’m extremely disturbed at all the reactions coming from both sides surrounding the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case.

Two words have sent shock waves across our nation, once again leaving us divided.

And I’m sitting here asking myself, what if?

What if George Zimmerman had made different choices that night? What if Trayvon Martin had made different choices? What if they both had been in different places?

It’s a bit of a foolish exercise asking questions like that, but nonetheless, it’s where I am.

In the end, I just feel awful for everyone involved and everyone whose lives’ have forever been marked by this experience.

You see there’s this idea I have about life and it’s not too terribly uncommon in most circles. What I mean by that is, if you were to randomly ask someone if they thought this was a good idea then 9 times out of 10 you would find that they agreed with you.

Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time on this idea. It’s one of a few things I want my life to stand and be known for. I guess you could say that when it’s all said and done, I want my legacy to contain this idea.

This idea is nothing more than a word.

One simple word.

But I think this word would have prevented those two words, alluded to above, from having ever needed to be spoken.

Generosity

Photo Credit: Dru! via Compfight cc

That word is Generosity.

I believe there is truly only one way to live and that is generously.

I am convinced that generosity wins every time. It’s written in every great story and woven into every great fairy tale. I believe it’s also coded into the very DNA of our hearts. I think that’s why when we drive by the needy and homeless, whether we act or not, we feel something. We experience something.

Shows like Extreme Home MakeoverSecret Millionaire, and Undercover Boss are successful because they are built and scripted on radical generosity! They give us an experience that resonates with the sacred space in each and every one of our hearts. It’s why we love them, and watch them religiously.

Like I said, I’ve spent a lot of time with this idea this year. I suppose you could say, I’ve developed a pretty good relationship with generosity. That doesn’t mean I’m as generous as I would like to be, but what I mean is, in all my time sitting and talking with this idea, I’ve come up with 4 main reasons why I’m choosing to live a generous life.

1. I’m selfish, but not just in the way you think. Let’s cut to the chase and be honest with one another. We are all selfish. That’s just a fact of life. We will always find ways to give ourselves the satisfaction and comfort we think we’re missing out on, even if that’s at the expense of someone else. But that’s not the whole story. I’m choosing to be selfish when it comes to generosity, because I really love helping people! I mean really love knowing I’ve been able to serve someone well. By understanding that you are uniquely created with gifts and talents other people don’t have, using them to serve others is the kind of selfishness the world needs more of.

2. I love stories. If my passion and creativity could be compared to something like a car engine, then stories easily serve as 6 of the 12 cylinders. Of course it would be a 12 cylinder engine, right? I mean, it’s all about Creating the Awesome, so what’s more awesome than a 12 cylinder beast of an engine! But seriously, I love hearing your stories! I love giving away any platform I have to tell someone else’s awesome story.

3. I love seeing you succeed! Maybe this comes from years of working in the entertainment business, I don’t know. But nothing fuels me more than watching someone I have been able to help succeed! It gives me great joy to participate in the success stories of others! That’s why I love Louie Giglio’s language about being a door holder.

4. The truth is I’ve been given much. This is as honest and authentic as it gets. If you’re reading this, then you’re right there with me. We are better off than 90% of the world. That’s almost too much to fathom, and staggering to experience. You and I have not been given so that we could hold on, hoard, and keep to ourselves. No. We’ve been given so that, we might give to others. That’s the equation for success and the recipe for the only way to live.

Generosity is the gospel equation for success and the recipe for the only way to live. (Be Awesome. Tweet That!)

The Message translation of scripture is by far one of my favorites and I love how it communicates what John 3:29-30 says. I think it perfectly sums up not only who I want to be but also why I want to be that kind of man.

I think it sets you and I up to respond to one of the greatest questions that could ever be asked of us.

In light of the generosity shown to you, how will you respond?

It says,

“Thats why my cup is running over. This is the assigned moment for him to move into the center, while I slip off to the sidelines.”

What would your reasons for living a generous life be?

What would you add to my list?

Share your thoughts and comments below! We’re all made better by them!

Can I ask one more small favor from you, my awesome audience? If something you’ve read above sticks out at you, or resonates with you at all, would you kindly share it? I continually want to build a community where value is added and the biggest value imaginable comes from your voices! You’d be surprised at what can happen when just one person shares one idea with another!

Posted on: July 15, 2013

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Josh Collins
Franklin, TN
United States

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